QUEBEC CITY, Que. -  Quebec Premier Jean Charest’s office confirmed the Quebec election will be held on Sept. 4.

If Charest — who has been in office for nine years — does win again, he will be the first Quebec premier to take four-straight terms since the mid-50s.

He’s gambling on a summer election, while he still has 17 months to go in his mandate.

Charest is expected to put economy at the core of his platform, including a move to protect Rona, the Quebec-based home improvement company from a $2-billion takeover bid by United States-based Lowe’s.

But his Liberals are involved a tough three-way race and, if the polls are to be believed, would enter the campaign as underdog against the Parti Quebecois.

The campaign’s dark horse is the Coalition for Quebec’s Future; the new party has attracted much attention with its promise to bring together separatists and federalists by improving the economy.